Colorado College men’s and women’s basketball teams finished off great seasons this past weekend, with both teams securing wins against the University of Dallas in their final weekend of play. The men won, 89–80, righting the ship after a loss the week before to the 8–6 Trinity University, bringing them to 7–7 for the season. The women won 63–57 against Dallas, in the same boat as the men, improving to 68 after a loss to the 13–1 Trinity University.
Both teams look ahead to hosting the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships this weekend, as the men seek revenge against Trinity at noon today, and the women play Centenary College of Louisiana (5–9) at 5 p.m. If the men win, they will face Schreiner University (10–4) at noon on Saturday.
Pending a win, the women get a rematch against Trinity at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The championship games will be on Sunday at noon and 2 p.m., respectively. The men’s game against the Dallas Crusaders saw an incredibly efficient performance from forward sophomore CooXooEii Black, who scored 29 points on 12-for-14 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds, four of them offensive. He added two blocks, and only had one turnover. This represents continued improvement for Black, who has been one of the Tigers’ most consistent players over the last several weeks.
Senior forward Chris Martin had high praise for how his Tigers played on Saturday. “We played well defensively overall, with minimal lapse, and then executed on offense by sticking with what worked,” Martin said. “We had contributions from a lot of guys, and each and every one of those contributions was extremely valuable in coming away with the win.” Senior guard Eric Houska also continued his scoring ways, with 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He dished out five assists and swiped two steals, only committing two turnovers. As the leading scorer for the Tigers, Houska just won’t stop; he’s put up impressive scoring performances on almost every other member of the conference.
Going into their game against Trinity, Martin believes there are a few key aspects of play that the team is looking to succeed in. “We will really continue focusing on our defensive energy and overall offensive discipline and execution, as well as how to adjust if we encounter something new,” Martin said.
“This past weekend’s game was big for us in the sense that we were able to keep our momentum moving forward and continue with that winning mindset.” The women’s game against the Crusaders went similarly, with junior guard Casey Torbet leading the team and playing all 40 minutes. She scored a team-high of 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting, and was on fire from downtown, striking on three of her five attempts.
Sophomore guard Nia Duplain also played well on Saturday, stuffing the stat sheet with 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and a steal in 38 minutes of action.
Both players have kept up strong play throughout the season, and are big reasons why the Tigers are the fourth seed in the SCAC. Torbet felt strongly about the Tigers’ performance on Saturday. “We battled the whole game and never gave up,” Torbet said. “We shared the ball really well and utilized our transition game. We just played together for all 40 minutes, which gave us great success.” Torbet went on to describe what it’s going to take the Tigers to make a deep run into this year’s tournament. “After playing all these teams twice, we are definitely looking to run in transition more, as well as locking down the other team’s top players, just playing our game,” she said.
Martin believes it’s a big moment for the program to be able to play host at this year’s championships. “This is something [we have] always looked forward to,” Martin said. “Having the opportunity to host conference doesn’t happen often at all, and the opportunity we have is something to be thankful for. Being at altitude is always a plus, and there’s nothing quite like a good home game. The fact that we get to play at home is a huge motivator for us in the sense that we want to protect our home floor.”
Torbet shares this sentiment. “It is huge for us to be able to host the tournament and have the home court advantage to do as well as we can this weekend,” Torbet said. “It’s even better that we made the tournament outright, which the women’s basketball team hasn’t done for a while. Making the tournament was a huge goal and accomplishment for us. This really shows the growth of the program over the past couple years.”
Tipoff for our men’s team is at noon in Reid Arena. Come out and be loud to cheer on CC at this year’s basketball championships!